Internship Programme for IT Students with Mentoring Scheme
Hungarian ICT companies have serious shortage of skilled/trained/graduated IT workers. Approximately 50% of IT students fall out of university before graduation due to accepting well paid professional job offers. At the same time, university students often do not possess knowledge of latest technologies or other skills that the IT market demands.
To handle this phenomenon the Code your future! project was launched and as part of it the so-called Internship programme and the related mentoring scheme.
"Code your future!" project - background & context
The large-scale national project "Code your future!" aims to increase the number of graduating students in the field of IT in the coming years and thereby contribute to address the current IT staff shortage, which is becoming increasingly important from the point of view of the national economy. The main goal of the project is to support the development of training on IT competences in higher education, so that the training system provides marketable knowledge that meets the needs of the economic actors. The project supports university students to learn about the technologies used by ICT companies. The project is funded by the Operational Programme using ESF and implemented by KIFÜ, the Governmental Information-Technology Development Agency and the ICT Association of Hungary which took a leading role among other actions, in the implementation of the so-called internship programme and the mentoring scheme activity.
Within the framework of the internship program, the students and companies participating in the internship program received talent management support and allowances related to internship training. A student could gain 500 hours of internship at one company and work at up to 3 companies during the program. Interns might work a maximum of 20 hours per week during the diligent period and a maximum of 40 hours per week in other periods. The interns' salaries were financed by the project up to the guaranteed minimum wage in Hungary.
The program includes an important additional element, the “Development of Mentors’ Competences”, which is a training for company representatives who will deal with the interns. Competences were handed over to the mentors during a 16-hour training, which help the ICT professionals to prepare for working as mentors with the interns. During the training, the mentors were provided with knowledge and competencies that enabled the mentors to set goals important for the intern/internship and the company as well, to manage conflicts effectively, to delegate tasks, and to set up monitoring and evaluation processes.
Main results from implemented activities
The program was implemented by an intermediary company (selected via a public procurement due to the nature of its host project), which implemented the intervention in line with the methodology elaborated by IVSZ and its partner. To ensure that the project provides multiple concrete solutions to this challenge, different intern programs and methods of work of various agencies working with students were studied. Around 20 interviews with ICT companies were conducted, discussing their in-house training options, internship programs, needs, difficulties and others.
The final concept reflected the needs of the companies and the most effective and easiest way of student employment. An important factor was to ease up the companies from the complicated administrative procedures of the public procurement by defining among others the tasks of the student career counselling centres, namely:
- Recruitment of university students.
- Finding internship positions at ICT companies.
- Conducting the whole hiring procedures from interviews to onboarding, from preparation of attendance sheet to payroll documentation.
- Entering into service contract with companies and in cooperation contract with students
Main results during the 2 internship programmes implemented:
- 230 ICT companies had fully financed IT students for a total of 240 hrs (average) of internship work.
- 760 IT university students had internship job opportunity.
The initiative is managed by the IT Association of Hungary (IVSZ) as part of the Code your future project coordinated by the Governmental Information-Technology Development Agency. IVSZ is the joint platform of the information technology, telecommunications and electronics sectors in Hungary, the body representing sectorial and societal interests and issues above the direct business interests.